It’s been about two months and my world of tiny homes has been expanded tremendously. Whether it’s just trending or a realistic shift to a modern lifestyle, tiny homes are popping up everywhere.
I recently attended a festival in Mattituck and one of the vendors was tiny home sales. They had a handful of designs to pick from, but one thing struck me—where’s the personal space? I started noticing that many of the tiny homes I was viewing through social media and web searches were open floor plans. Some included a loft bed, but that’s still open to the rest of the space. They did utilize every square inch to maximize the feeling of spaciousness, but in doing so, neglected to address personal space.
My tiny home is a total of 250 square feet which includes all indoor living space— closets, alcoves, kitchen, bath, etc. It’s a two floor home (not a loft) which allows for much needed personal space and downtime. I can not imagine living in such close quarters and never having a space to duck away to.
The particular design of my home puts the bulk of the space in the upstairs floor which is the bedroom. Floor space is maximized by using a small spiral staircase. There is also a door on the second floor which leads to a small deck in case of emergencies or moving very large objects in and out. The floor space makes this the most comfortable room in the house and even allows for storage. You could even add in a home office without sacrificing bedroom comfort.
The one design flaw in my home is the kitchen size. It’s perfect for someone who is always on the go and only needs the basics. However, if you like to cook or bake, everything has to be minimized. I would suggest a kitchen design that’s at least Manhattan apartment size—medium fridge, full sink, standard stove, and counter space. Let’s not forget plenty of storage in the form of wall cabinets or shelves for dishes, cookware, and food storage.
I have seen several designs that denote a huge percentage of floor space to the bathroom. This makes no sense to me. Yes, people do like to view their bathroom as personal space, but a minimal amount of time is spent here compared to the bedroom. Additionally, if you’re already giving up luxuries to move to a tiny home, why would you hold on to the idea of a luxury bathroom? Keep it simple. Save your floor space for the rooms you will spend the most time in.
One added benefit of our bathroom is a double door system. We have one door between the bathroom and the main house and one door for the bathroom to the outdoors. The door to outside leads to an amazing outdoor shower, but it has had other benefits. When we are entertaining it has allowed guests to access the bathroom directly without walking through the home and, most importantly, disturbing the dogs.
I have not seen a tiny home with a common space that is entertainment worthy. Yes, you can sit a few people comfortably, but any more than that and everyone will be cramped. I believe this is where the open floor bedroom design fits in, but then you have people lounging in your bedroom. Again, no personal space. I am fortunate to have “yard” space for entertaining and it has been wonderful. Guests enjoy sitting on lounge chairs and looking out at the water. We have a fire pit for evening fun. I am afforded the luxury of having my home on a beach, but you can choose to utilize your own surroundings to make your home more comfortable. This should be a top priority in picking the location of your tiny home.
The New Norm?
The current trend in society is about having more experiences and less belongings. New generations put their value in travel, exploring different cultures and beliefs, and enjoying the outdoors. Tiny homes allow for an affordable home base with minimal overhead and upkeep. In my two month experience, I’ve already been able to travel more. Guests to my home are encouraged to enjoy its natural surroundings. I can see the positive effects of prioritizing my money and time spent on family and self rather than dusting off belongings and the upkeep of space I don’t utilize.
Do you live in a tiny home? I would love to know about your layout!